Cross border shelling persists in the Kashmir region contention

Relatives and friends mourn next to bodies of victims in cross border shelling in Pakistan's Neelum valley Relatives and friends mourn next to bodies of victims in cross border shelling in Pakistan's Neelum valley Sajjad Qayyum/AFP

Several soldiers and civilians were killed on both sides in one of the deadliest days since August for India and Pakistan.

The de facto border, known as LoC, the Line of Control, has been once more affected by shelling after the revocation of the Kashmir’s special status implemented on August 5 by New Delhi. The blame of the fire attack is still not clear, since officials from both India and Pakistan accused each other’s: India said there was heavy shelling by Pakistan across the border in northern Kashmir Tangdhar region, killing two soldiers and one civilian on Saturday 19 October night; on the other hand, Islamabad accused Indian army of targeting civilians, seriously hurting even women and children and killing six people across the areas near the LoC.

The death toll in the latest round of firing rose to at least 10, according to AFP; the Indian defence defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that there was an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan. "Our troops retaliated strongly, causing heavy damage and casualties to the enemy," whilst Pakistan's army claimed that India's attacks in Jura, Shahkot and Nowshera sectors were "unprovoked" and deliberately targeted civilians. As a response, Pakistan would have killed nine Indian soldiers, injuring several others and destroying two bunkers. Furthermore, during exchange of fire, 1 soldier and 3 civilians shaheed, 2 soldiers and 5 civilians were injured. In short, both sides accused each other of violating 2003 ceasefire accord. 

Islamabad had summoned the Indian envoy in protest over the shelling and killings, thus the clashes of Sunday 20 October, came days after Pakistan's foreign ministry protested against similar incidents from across the heavily militarized LoC by Indian forces that killed three civilians and wounded another eight on October 15.



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Author: Carlotta Matteucci

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